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Press Communiqué of the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions, 3 April 2019

3 Apr 2019 - 16:14

The 47th round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) took place today.

In Working Group I, the Co-Chairs (UN Representative Cihan Sultanoğlu, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Rudolf Michalka and EU Special Representative Toivo Klaar) noted that the security situation on the ground had been challenged especially by the death of Georgian citizen Irakli Kvaratskhelia in the custody of Russian Federation Border Guards in the Gali district on 10 March 2019, as well as the temporary restrictions and closures of crossing points imposed in January 2019.

Regarding the death of Mr Kvaratskhelia, the Co-Chairs called on the relevant participants to share all existing information in a timely manner.On the restrictions and closures, the Co-Chairs and Co-Moderators reiterated that these measures were not justified as a means to providing public health benefits. They stressed that both the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) and the hotlines should have been used.

Participants highlighted the importance of the IPRMs and the work of the Ergneti IPRM was positively assessed. The necessity of resuming the Gali IPRM without preconditions and further delay was stressed.

Concerns regarding military activities in the region were expressed. The Co-Chairs underlined the importance of providing advance notice on this and other sensitive issues.
Participants exchanged views on the agenda item on “non-use of force and international security arrangements,” benefiting from a corresponding information session.

In Working Group II, the participants reviewed the humanitarian situation on the ground, including the impact of the temporary restrictions and closures of crossing points. They also discussed issues relating to documentation, freedom of movement, missing persons, public health, education, livelihoods and environmental challenges. Unfortunately, due to a walkout by some participants, the issue of internally displaced persons/refugees could not be addressed. The Co-Chairs and Co-Moderators renewed their call for participants to engage constructively on all agenda items.

The participants agreed to hold the next GID round on 2-3 July 2019.